Red Jajik

The summer heat wave across America has been insane!  With 100 – plus degree temperatures  hovering over much of the country, who wants to cook or bake?

If you’re looking for a cool, refreshing dish, here’s a unique yogurt recipe sent to me by Sonia Tashjian, who said this is a specialty of Van. Very little cooking is involved – just one hard-cooked egg, and one boiled beet.

Robyn’s Note: If you’re too hot to boil either of those, you might cheat a little and purchase already cooked eggs, such as Eggland’s Best, and use canned or jarred beets that aren’t marinated. (Don’t tell Sonia I mentioned the short-cut; she would strongly disapprove of this suggestion!)

Red Jajik
Red Jajik


1 cup of matsuni (plain yogurt)

1 cup of sour cream

1 hard-boiled egg
1 boiled red beet, peeled
1 cucumber, cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled, cut into quarters
1 garlic clove, peeled
small bunch of greens* (see Sonia’s notes below)

Serve with lavash or bread


In a food processor mash the vegetables with the egg, then add the matsuni, sour cream & the salt. 
Serve with dried or fried lavash or bread.

Sonia’s Notes:

1.* It doesn’t matter what greens you use. I use dill & coriander (cilantro) in jajik. I haven’t ever used canned beets. If it’s difficult to cook the beet root, as it will takes time, sometimes I dice it or slice it, then cook.

2. Musa Daghian jajekh is with cucumber & lebneh (thick matsuni).

3. The Armenians from Iran used to prepare jajik with garlic, dry mint, a lot of different greens & raisins in it.

4. Here (Yerevan) the people prepare jajik with a lot of water & serve in cups.

5. In Artsakh its name is “matsnaprtosh” & prepared with greens, garlic & green onion.

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  • A trick that I have found with root vegetables like beets and potatoes: Cook them in the microwave.

    Don't peel them (the skin keeps them from drying out). Prick them with a knife a few times all over. Put them in for about 3 minutes. Once you hear them steaming (about 1 1/2 min), turn them over so they cook evenly. Adjust the time and avoid overcooking.

    This method is much faster than boiling and it prevents the vitamins from getting lost in the water. The only drawback is you really have to watch them to prevent them from drying out.

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